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Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

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  #1  
Old 08-22-2012, 02:49 PM
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webmaestro  is offline
 
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Custom Apex II 7-string


Since I've seen a couple other project/custom threads here, I figured I'd start posting progress pics of my custom Apex II.

Background:

I love idea of the Apex II (string-thru fixed bridge, 1vol knob only, etc), but hate the green paint and the super-tight fretboard radius of the neck. Basically, i wanted an Apex II with a maple top, natural oil finish, and the same neck specs as what's on my RG1527M.

So, I got in touch with someone who was selling some fairly impressive Ibby replacement bodies on ebay, and he agreed to do an Apex II body and 1527M neck for me (or, as close as you can realistically get). I'll do everything else... electronics, oil finish, assembly & setup, etc.

The woods aren't super fancy or highly-figured--and this is on purpose. This will be a player, and I wanted to cut costs a bit. So, I only asked for "decent" looking woods.

Here are the progress pics thus far:

About 2 weeks after I sent a deposit, he sent me this...



A couple weeks later, he sent these:







The neck and body arrived a couple weeks ago, and everything looks good... albeit with some rough edges here and there. I'll probably have to do some fine sanding, maybe a little fretwork, etc. but that was all part of the agreement. He did most of the heavy lifting and I'm pretty excited.

Unfortunately, I'm smack in the middle of packing to move to Arizona, so I won't be able to pick this project back up for at least a few weeks. I'll continue to post pics as I get to it.
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2012, 04:00 PM
GuitarBizarre  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Tight fretboard radius?

The Apex 2 has a 400mm radius. The difference between that and the 430 on your 1527, even at the very edge of the neck, is a tenth of a millimeter.

Edit: Took the info from rich's website. Turns out its 305mm. Pretty average radius, its not that curved.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2012, 04:07 PM
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webmaestro  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
Tight fretboard radius?

The Apex 2 has a 400mm radius. The difference between that and the 430 on your 1527, even at the very edge of the neck, is a tenth of a millimeter.

Edit: Took the info from rich's website. Turns out its 305mm. Pretty average radius, its not that curved.
If it were only 400mm, I could probably tolerate it and not even notice, but 305mm is just way too round for me after having played 430mm all my life (and flat boards on classical guitars). If I had my druthers, I'd even like to try a 508mm (20") radius some day.

Last edited by webmaestro; 08-22-2012 at 04:13 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2012, 06:39 PM
LonePhantom  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Looks like this is going to be a great project.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:28 PM
GuitarBizarre  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Btw, the body you've got there looks pretty good. Who did it and how much?
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2012, 03:05 PM
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webmaestro  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarBizarre View Post
Btw, the body you've got there looks pretty good. Who did it and how much?
His name is Mike Greene and the total, shipped, was $635. Curious if anyone on here knows him (maybe he's a member). Nice guy to deal with, and a very fast turnaround--only about a month.
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  #7  
Old 08-23-2012, 04:34 PM
rnovak  is offline
 
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Location: Tucson, AZ, USA
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Dude, sweet, another Phoenix member, and in the computer industry as well (as I take from your username).

Guitar looks great man, It'll be a great player.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2012, 04:58 PM
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webmaestro  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Quote:
Originally Posted by rnovak View Post
Dude, sweet, another Phoenix member, and in the computer industry as well (as I take from your username).

Guitar looks great man, It'll be a great player.
Yep, returning soon to AZ (which is home for me) after 3 years of living in a small town in Minnesota--an experience I won't repeat again. It'll be nice to be back in the big city again w/lots of other guitar players.

I'd like to get into luthiery myself. Roberto Venn in Phoenix would be a dream, but they don't exactly offer part-time courses, and I can't set my current career aside (nor would I want to) for that length of time. Ah well, maybe an activity for retirement.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2012, 10:57 AM
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webmaestro  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Update: This project is now defunct. Numerous issues have been found with the workmanship... such that making these parts work would require far, far too much money. Namely...

1. fretwork was done incorrectly, so a complete refret will be needed. The fret-end angles were filed WAY too steep, so strings slip off the edges of the fretboard.

2. the glue joints on the body have started coming apart (though it's mainly just cosmetic).

3. The pickup routes are not big enough to accommodate my pickups (BKP's). Not sure what the hell happened there.

4. There are edge-chips from the router in various places... namely the input jack and on the p/u selector (which you can kinda see if you look closely in the pics above).

The list goes on, but those are the big ones. I've not had the parts professionally evaluated to find potential issues with incorrect scale length, neck twists, etc.

I'll be selling everything as-is... no guarantees, if anyone is interested in the parts. If you have the skill, you may be able to make this into a playable guitar. The neck seems solid and straight--just needs to be refretted. Maybe these would make good practice pieces for someone... for woodworking or finishing.

Bummed.

Last edited by webmaestro; 12-12-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2012, 02:22 PM
D.M.RG7620  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Try Nate Perle next time. He makes some GREAT Ibanez "replacement" parts.

At risk of sounding rude, I could tell that the body was off from the very first picture. The neck as well.
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2012, 03:47 PM
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webmaestro  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Quote:
Originally Posted by D.M.RG7620 View Post
Try Nate Perle next time. He makes some GREAT Ibanez "replacement" parts.
Yeah, no kidding about Nate. Unfortunately, I didn't go with my gut... and decided to give this other builder a shot. His stuff (on ebay) looked really, really nice. All the while, a little voice was saying "you really should just go with Nate!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.M.RG7620 View Post
At risk of sounding rude, I could tell that the body was off from the very first picture. The neck as well.
No offense taken at all. Would be curious to know what issues you spotted from those early pics. I'm just the layperson, so I only see a guitar-in-progress, and it all looks cool to me.

Ah well. If I can't sell these parts dirt-cheap, I'll use them to practice refinishing or something. Lesson learned.
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2012, 04:15 PM
LonePhantom  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


It would be good if you let everyone know who made these too, so others don't make the mistake of going with them.

I'd personally be fighting for a refund.
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2012, 05:22 PM
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webmaestro  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
It would be good if you let everyone know who made these too, so others don't make the mistake of going with them.

I'd personally be fighting for a refund.
Mike Greene. Ebay ID: easterfacingwillow

Please note...

1. This was not an ebay transaction. I only "discovered" his work there, which all looked pretty nice. Had 100% feedback too (at the time). Great communication, nice guy, etc, etc.

2. I've not told him of these issues, so he hasn't had a chance to make any of this right. However, it's been nearly 4 months now, so it's a little late on my part. It took me this long because I ordered the work right before making a big location and career move. I'm only just now settled and finally able to REALLY scrutinize everything. So, I bear a lot of responsibility in that regard.

3. Order non-Ibanez replacement bodies/necks from Nate Perle, heh.
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2012, 06:10 PM
LonePhantom  is offline
 
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Re: Custom Apex II 7-string


Doesn't matter if it's been 4 months. You haven't made any modifications to the wood. He should be offering coverage for any issues, it's not like you've had them sitting there for 3 years or something.
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